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United States 6, Iran 6, Bob Woodward 6, Us 6, Contessa 6, Afghanistan 6, Christine O'donnell 4, Andrea Mitchell 4, California 4, Virginia 4, U.n. 4, Harry Reid 4, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 3, Gail 3, Geico 3, U.s. 3, New Bayer Am 3, Delaware 3, Weeeeeee 3, Washington 3,
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  MSNBC    MSNBC News Live    News/Business. Live news coverage,  
   breaking news and current news events. New.  

    September 22, 2010
    12:00 - 1:00pm EDT  

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boss: thanks! gecko: no, no i got it, sir. anncr: geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance. good wednesday, everybody. i'm contessa brewer. right now president obama is talking about health care in virginia, hoping to drum up a little support for a new plan six months after he signed it. here is the live picture right now, a backyard discussion in falls church, virginia. let's listen to the president. >> -- somebody who helped to champion the kinds of reforms and patients' rights we'll talk about here today, congressman jim moran is here. thank you so much, jim. [ applause ] and falls church mayor nade nader baruk i was just mentioning baruk means blessings in hebrew, one who is blessed
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and barack means the same thing so he and i, we're right there. and i know he feels blessed to be the mayor of this wonderful town. you know, when i came into office, obviously we were confronted with an historic crisis, the worst financial crisis since the great depression. we had lost 4 million jobs in the six months before i was sworn in, and we've lost almost 800,000 the month i was sworn in. obviously, the economy has been uppermost on our minds and i had to take a series of steps very quickly to make sure that we prevented the country from going into a second great depression, that the financial markets were stabilized, we've succeeded in doing that and now the economy is growing again, but it's not growing as fast as it needs to. and you still have millions of people who are unemployed out there. you still have hundreds of thousands of people who have
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lost their homes. there is a lot of anxiety and there's a lot of stress out there, and so, so much of our focus day-to-day is trying to figure out how do we just make sure that this recovery that we're slowly on starts accelerating in a way that helps folks all across the country. but when i ran for office, i ran not just in anticipation of a crisis. i ran because middle class families all across the country were seeing their security eroded, partly because between the years 2001 and 2009, wages actually went down for the average family by 5%. we had the slowest job growth of any time since world war ii. the "wall street journal" called it the lost decade and part of the challenge for families was is that even as their wages and incomes were flatlining, their
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costs of everything from college tuition to health care was skyrocketing. and so what we realized was we had to take some steps to start dealing with these underlying chronic problems that have confronted our economy for a very long time. and health care was one of those issues that we could no longer ignore. we couldn't ignore it, because the costs of health care has been escalating faster than just about anything else. and i don't need to tell you all that. even if you have health insurance, you've seen your copayments, your premiums skyrocket, even if you get health care from your employer, that employers' costs have skyrocketed and starting to pass more and more of those costs on to their employees. more people don't get health care from their employers, and in addition, what you are seeing was that at the state level and
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at the federal level, the costs of health care, because people weren't getting it on the job and were trying to get it through the chip program or medicaid or disability or what have you, all those costs were driving our government bankrupt. anybody who is out there who is concerned about the deficit, the single biggest driver of our deficit is the ever escalating costs of health care, so it was bankrupting families, companies, and our government. so we said we had to take this on. and most of all as i traveled around the country i'd hear stories from families in every single state, you know, they had a child who had a preexisting condition and couldn't get health insurance or they thought they insurance only to find out that in the fine print there was some sort of lifetime limit of the sort that paul described, they bump up against it and suddenly they're out of luck,
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and potentially going to lose their home or lose whatever savings they had, because the insurance that they thought they were getting wasn't going to fully cover them. some people will tell me, would tell me stories about how just as they got sick, the insurance company would have gone through their form and saw some innocuous mistake, and just dropped their coverage, because they hadn't listed -- in some extreme cases, you know, we had folks who had gallbladder problem 15 years ago that had nothing to do with the sickness that they were now experiencing, but the insurance company said ah, you forgot to list that, and so we're going to drop you from your insurance. i met young people all across the country who, starting off in life, getting their first job, weren't getting health insurance and couldn't stay on their
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parents' policies, so the amount of vulnerability that was out there was horrendous, and when i said to myself and what i said to my team was even as we were dealing with this big crisis, immediate crisis with respect to the economy, we've got to start doing something to make sure that ordinary folks who are feeling insecure because of health care costs, that they get some relief. so the reason we're here today is that thanks to outstanding work by people like jim, thanks to outstanding implementation by folks like kathleen, we are now actually able to provide some help to the american people, essentially part of the affordable care act that we can implement right now, and will take effect, is it today or
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tomorrow? tomorrow, see, frances knows, that we can, that will take effect tomorrow, is the most important patient's bill of rights that we've ever seen in our history, and let me just tick off some of the things that are going to be the case starting tomorrow. number one, paul already mentioned, the issue of lifetime limits, that is not going to be the rule anymore after tomorrow. if you've got a policy, you get sick, the insurance company covers you. number two, preexisting conditions for children, children who have preexisting conditions are going to be covered. number three, we're going to make sure that if young people don't have health insurance through their employer, that they can stay on their parents' health insurance up to the age of 26, which is obviously a huge
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relief for a lot of parents who are seeing their young people just coming out of college and not being able to get insurance. you're going to be able to make sure that the insurance company doesn't drop you, because of an innocent mistake on your insurance form. this rule of recession, they are not going to be able to drop you arbitrarily, which gives you more security. number four, you're going to be able to choose your doctor and not have to go through some network in an emergency situation as a consequence of these rules, so it gives customers more choice and more options. there are so many good things about this, i may have forgotten one. kathleen, anything else? right and preventative care. i knew there was one more. preventative care which over the long-term can save people money
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because you get diagnosed quicker. so all of these things are designed not to have government more involved in health care. they're designed to make sure that you have basic protections in your interactions with your insurance company, that you're getting what you paid for, that you have some basic measures of protection in interacting with the health care system, which means that you're not going to go bankrupt, you're not going to lose your house, if heaven forbid you end up having an accident, and you're able to get the quality care that you need. now obviously there are a whole host of other things involved in the health care reforms that we initiated, small businesses, 4 million of them are going to get a huge tax break if they start providing health insurance to their employees. we've got measures that make sure that medicare and the life of medicare is extended and in fact we just got a report today that medicare advantage program
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that we have modified and scrutinized more carefully, that in fact rates are going to be lower for that than they were before. i just met with state insurance commissioners from all across the country, they are newly empowered to look after consumers, and i'll just give you one example, in north carolina, in part because of the new leverage that insurance commissioners have, the insurance commissioner there was able to get a $125 million rebate for 200,000 customers in north carolina, and they are seeing the lowest rate increases ever. all this is going to lower premiums. it's going to make health care more affordable and it's going to give you more security. that's the concept behind what we're implementing, but rather than me do all the talking i want to make sure that some people who have struggled in the past with the health care system have an opportunity to tell their story, because basically the reason we did this was
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because of the stories i had heard from folks like you, all across the country and i want to make sure that a couple of you have the chance to tell your stories before i take some questions. so we're going to start with dawn. where is dawn? dawn is right here. dawn has already got her own mike. introduce yourself, dawn, and tell us a little bit about yourself and your situation. >> thank you. i'm dawn josephson from jacksonville, florida, and i've been a self-employed entrepreneur since 1998. during that time, the majority of those years i didn't even have insurance because it was simply too expensive. in 2006 my son, wesley, was born. this is wesley. go say hi. there you go. >> this is wesley here >> that's wesley, he was born in 2006, when we finally got health insurance. we had a few different policies over the years, always had something excluded from it, even
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something as silly as ear infections, and what kid does not get ear infections, so i mean silly stuff, and in july of '09, he had eye surgery. we discovered he had sudden onset of a condition called strabismus in the eyes and his right eye had the surgery and in less than a year later we said we needed new insurance, what we have was killing us for our premium, and this was right around the time, right after the act passed. the insurance company gave us an affordable rate, we were looking for a very affordable plan, and when she told us we were approved, my immediate response was, "but what's not covered?" i knew we'd have an exclusion for my son's eye. she said "you're covered, nothing's not covered." i said i'm not clear with my questioning. what about my son? she said, "yeah your son's covered" and i said, no, you don't understand, what if he needs another surgery on his
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eye, are you going to pay for it? she said "yes, he's covered" and i was shocked, and she said, "we can no longer exclude preexisting conditions for children" and it didn't hit me until later that night when i was talking with my husband as to why she said that, and we started talking about it, and i said, wow, something affected me personally from the government, it was really shocking so not only did we have a more affordable plan but my son is now covered no matter what happens, it is routine for children with strabismus to need mull imle surtiple surgeries. i know it will not have to come out of our pocket. thank you for everything you've done, president obama and everything everyone has done to push this through because it's really made our lives so much less stressful, as just an average american family fwlp that's. >> that's a wonderful story. next i want to talk to gail who flew down here from new hampshire.
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i had a chance to talk to gail a couple of days ago, i had actually received a letter had been passed on to us from gail's husband, telling their story, and so i just was so touched by it and it was wonderful to have a chance to speak to her personally, but gail? >> that was awesome, too, you made my day. yeah, in march of this year, i was diagnosed with high grade stage two nonhodgkins lymphoma, and i was uninsured. i work full time as a preschool teacher at a montessori school that does not offer insurance to their employees, so i was scared to death, more you know not as much, oh, i've got cancer, what am i going to do? it was how am i going to pay for these outrageous bills that are going to come our way. so then we would have had to go into our retirement fund and use
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that up and one son in college and one son on the way to college in two years. we would have had to use all of the money we saved for those to pay for my medical bills. when we heard about the high risk pool and that it was in effect, in july 1st, we got right onto it. we called people, we got all of the criteria in order so that we were actually insured on july 1st. my doctor let me wait for three months to start chemotherapy and radiation, and on july 5th i started chemo, and i'm doing radiation now. >> you're hearing some of the stories that the president is listening to, but really highlighting the advantages to the health care reform, it's exactly what he is trying to get across so that not only dot american people realize there is a benefit from the work they did on the major health care law but also so that some of the democrats can go out and campaign on the issue. some of the benefits the president highlighted, take
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effect tomorrow, young adults can stay on their parents' plan until they turn 26. there are no more lifetime coverage limits, and plans that you can't cancel you if you get sick, they can't deny coverage to your child with a preexisting condition you heard the woman telling the president. gop lawmakers may try to block money requested for the new health care law. republicans are playing it as a major campaign issue but the white house, president out in the backyard in falls church, virginia, trying to put the faces of real people on this hot button issue. >> thank you. president obama. >> hello? >> hello. >> hi, gail? >> hello. >> how are you? >> i'm doing really well, thank you. >> white house posted this video on its website, the president called that keene, new hampshire, woman who couldn't get insurance after she was diagnosed with cancer. mike viqueira follows this issue from the white house.
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this is about the president trying to make the health care overhaul more palatable going into the midterm elections. >> reporter: the point made who would have thought he would have to be defending it and promoting it once more as a political matter, not only as a policy matter. the president said that tomorrow, a lot of those provisions kicked in, contessa, as you point out, and the question becomes, a lot of this vulnerable democrats, the 35 or so democrats who voted against the president's health care bill last march, many of them freshmen, many of them sophomores, many coming from vulnerable districts, they're the only ones taking credit for their vote on the democratic side of the aisle. many of those running, who voted for it, who are on the bubble are trying to run away from their vote right now, being hit with ads, and so the question becomes, why is it not the political attribute that many assume that it would be along with the stimulus and these are the things that the white house had hoped, at this point, would be things that they could campaign on but it looks like, contessa, they have to wait another two years for that because the climate is not good
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at this point. >> mike viqueira thank you. could democrats use health care reform to better advantage in their campaigns? reach me on twitter, facebook, my e-mail is dress contessa.msnbc.com. [ female announcer ] you use the healing power of touch every day. ♪ now the healing power of touch just got more powerful. introducing precise from the makers of tylenol. precise pain relieving cream works quickly to activate sensory receptors. it helps block pain signals fast for relief you can feel precisely where you need it most. precise. only from the makers of tylenol.
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welcome back, everybody. president obama has gotten a lot of pushback from the political left for sending more troops to afghanistan rather than pulling out the troops. bob woodward's book "obamas wars" seems to show the president was on their side all along. "i can't let this be a war without end and i can't lose the whole democratic party." even as his special representative to pakistan and afghanistan richard holbrooke
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told the president the strategy can't work. "you have to recognize also that i don't think you win this war. i think you keep fighting and this is the kind of fight we're in for the rest of our lives and probably our kids' lives" says general david petraeus. author of "the promise" jonathan alter, when you're reading the excerpts does it sound similar to the tug-of-war over where the war in afghanistan should go? >> very similar. i hadn't read bob woodward's book but sounds like he came across a lot of the same deliberations that i did. remember, they had 20 hours of conversations in the situation room on afghanistan, it was the most discussed foreign policy issue since 1962 in the cuban missile crisis, much more than discussed about iraq or vietnam so almost all of it has leaked
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out for months now so we have a very good sense for those who are interested and everybody should be interested, because we're talking about young men and women going into harm's way. >> this has been the deadliest year so far in afghanistan. the president knows that he's on a short time frame in terms of his loyal left and how much patience they'll give him, how much room they'll give him. many critics said we don't have any patience. you wanted to get them out of here, let's see it happen. what did you find in terms of the people who were willing to push forward on a withdrawal date and those who said no, we need to stick in there, we can't set a date for taking our troops out of there? >> well this was the big tension and because bob woodward is such a great reporter he's going to have a lot of new details about this, but this tension has been going on for a long time, and you essentially have the pentagon and hillary clinton on one side, and the white house on the other, and president obama
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was essentially caught in the middle, so he sort of split the difference, and he did say that there was going to be a target date, july 2011, next july. >> right. >> to begin withdrawal but he left open some loopholes so that if conditions on the ground change in certain ways, he can reverse himself. they're not going to start to evaluate whether to stay on that timetable until the end of this year. >> some of the intrapersonal conflicts are getting a lot of attention today. you have the vice president saying about richard holbrooke he's the most egotistical bastard i've ever met, general petraeus said about axelrod, that he's a complete spin doctor. do these personal tensions get in the way of what's best for afghanistan, get in the way of what's best for our military and get in the way of what's best for the american people in. >> i don't think so, as a matter
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of fact. there's always going to be squabbling in government. there isn't any workplace, you know, if you pull it back, people say things about each other. this is just always much more public when you're talking about the white house, and the government, but these are substantive disagreements, so take joe biden and hillary clinton. >> right. >> they're on opposite sides of this issue and they still like each other a lot personally. so what's more important, whether people are squabbling or whether they disagree on the substance? and what's so interesting about these inside accounts that come out is you see the inner play between the personal squabbling and the substance and of course, bob woodward we can expect will cover both. >> right. >> it's very important for i think viewers and the public to keep their focus on the fact that this is not about ultimately not about who likes somebody or thinks somebody else is an ego maniac. this is about the lives of the folks and future of our country,
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whether we want to spend another $1 trillion staying there for another ten years. >> and ten years or more, right, jonathan, thank you very much. appreciate that. iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad in the united states for the u.n. and general assembly whichwha seems to be a warning. hot on the web today some of the most viewed stories on msnbc.com, virginia is said to execute its first woman in nearly a century, teresa lewis sentenced to death for providing sex and money to two men in exchange for killing her husband and stepson in 2002. two men have filed a lawsuit accusing an atlanta pastor of coercing them into sex. the men were 17 and 18 years old, when they say bishop eddie lock seduced them with cars, money, clothes, jewelry, trips and access to celebrities. the preacher is denying those accusations. the twitter hacker exposed, he is an industrious young man, a 17-year-old who lives in australia with his parents. he says it was an accident, i didn't mean to cause this big problem. i just exposed a security flaw and then tweeted about.
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well, hackers picked up on it, tweaked the code, redirected users to lots of porn sites, even the white house got caught up in it. oops. [ male announcer ] ever have morning pain slow you down? introducing bayer am, an extra strength pain reliever with alertness aid to fight fatigue. so get up and get goin'! with new bayer am. the morning pain reliever. it was a real shock. i remember being at the hospital thinking, "i should have done more to take care of myself." you should've. that's why i'm exercising more now. eating healthier. and i also trust my heart to lipitor. [ male announcer ] when diet and exercise are not enough,
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- sit-ups? - uh, maybe jumping rope? - yeah. or jogging. - uh, how about like a wheelbarrow race? - oh, yeah, that's a great idea. - but imagine actually trying to use him as a wheelbarrow, like stacking bricks on him and doing, like, doo-doo-doo. you know what i mean? - or yoga. - which is actually peaceful and quiet and not a lot of talking, so... - exactly. is he still looking at me?
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iran's controversial president mahmoud ahmadinejad will speak before the united nations general assembly tomorrow n a meeting with journalists this week he issued what seemed to be a warning to the united states, if it ever decided to attack iran over its nuclear program, he said the u.s. should treat iran with greater fairness and respect. nbc news tehran bureau chief ali aruzzi joins me here. how important is it for the president of iran to make sure the people know he's standing up to this great western what he calls oppression? >> it's very important for him. he wants to make sure iran looks strong, can look after itself, is independent, so he's got a message he wants to get across while he's here and as you said
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he's talked to reporters this morning, yes, threatened -- one of the reporters asked him what happened if the united states attacked iran, he said vietnam, the second world war would pale in comparison if the united states was to attack iran so he definitely wants to flex his muscles. >> iran's nuclear case, he says, is a political case, otherwise why would it be essential for the details of our nuclear program to be made available to the media? he's kicked out international investigators over his nuclear programs when he didn't like what they reported. has he ever explained to the iranian people why he won't let them in, if the only program is for peaceful purposes? >> well i mean his line is that he's played ball all along, it's within his rights, in the framework of the iaea to reject certain inspectors. this is causing a lot of tension with the iaea. the big question, andrea mitchell asked him in the interview, if you've got nothing
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to hide, why not open all the doors, let everybody in, let them see whatever they want. he says we're being bullied and brow-beaten and he's coming to them with this tether so they're skating on thin ice when it comes to the iaea. >> the u.n. security council passed another round of sanctions in june. how much pressure and tension is not only with the iaea, not only with the united states but how much tension is there with countries that support iran, and are iran's allies? >> supporter is starting to dwindle. iran's allies were typically places like russia. today we heard from putin they're not going to deliver the defensive missiles to iran which was a huge deal, very embarrassing for the iranians. they paid for the missiles, they were happy to be getting them, it was going to bolster their defense systems and now putin said we're not going to send iran the 300 missiles so support is dwindling, big companies that work in iran like toyota, kia have all pulled out of iran, they have huge car sales in
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iran. the president may be saying this isn't hurting but it's certainly having an effect. >> ali i appreciate your time and perspective, thank you. we just learned another one of president obama's economic team is heading for the door. herb allison who heads the $700 billion bailout program said he's out. lawrence summers announced he'll soon be heading back to harvard. summers is probably the biggest departure yesterday yet coming after former budget director peter orszag and christina roemer. melissa francis joins me now. what kind of internal battle has got to be developing over who is going to advise the president on the economic issues? >> oh, yeah, i mean it's got to be a huge battle going on there. there is no clear front-runner right now for who is going to replace larry summers. the real question becomes what kind of person does the administration want to put in there, do they want to put in a ceo? we've heard names like anne
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mulcahey, and jeffrey immelt, or another academic like larry summers or a bureaucrat? who he picks will send a message to the markets, and everyone else about what his economic policy is going to be going forward. >> you know, you mentioned some of the people that the president is talking about, maybe the names that are being floated here. does corporate america have any say about this? do they care who gets picked to advise the president? >> oh, without question they care. they would definitely have voiced the opinion. they'd like to see someone who has run a business before, they feel the administration has gone catch the keynesian way and would like to see more of a free market person. i don't know if that's the direction the president wants to go in but that's definitely the markets and investors would like to see in there. >> i can see people right now throwing things at the television going who cares what corporate america thinks?
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let's go back and focus on the american people. >> exactly >> melissa, good to see. >> good to see you, there. christine o'donnell is not doing any more international media, she's going to focus on local reporters in delaware. the local republican who advised her that might be the best plan. oh, new phillips' colon health probiotic plus fiber.
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during endless shrimp at red lobster. with endless servings of your favorite shrimp, from classics... to crunchy new parmesan shrimp. our best value of the year right now, at red lobster. the first lady will hit the campaign trail for the first time since her husband's election. michelle obama plans a six-day campaign swing next month with fund-raisers in california, for senator barbara boxer and house speaker nancy pelosi. she'll also attend events in chicago. christine o'donnell is everywhere, the youtube clips keep coming. now the tea party darling is swearing off the national media on the advice of sarah palin. >> -- talk to you today about the things that are weighing so heavily on our hearts. i want to start by asking you -- >> i'm not going to do any more national media because this is my focus, delaware is my focus
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and the local media is my focus and it's frustrating, because i've let the local media know they're my priority, but our phones are ringing off the hook that they can't get to me. >> her opponent, chris coons is still talking on the daily rundown he said christine's recent statements should make people think. >> i do think folks should look hard at christine o'donnell's current statements, her experience, her qualifications but ultimately this is a decision the voters have to make november 2nd. >> kelly o'donnell is in washington. so no more national interviews for o'donnell but she got in one last jab at her opponent? >> of course she had a forum on fox news with sean hannity to talk about the race. a loft the criticism of her had been very personal and not about her ideas and talked a lot about her views on taxes and so forth, and she did, of course, take that moment to separate herself from chris coons, a county executive in delaware, and she talked about him in a way that was not so flattering, i think
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we have a clip of that. >> there is a stark contrast between my opponent and me. he's called harry reid's pet, you know. >> i've heard that. >> harry reid's word, i'm not mudslinging here. you have to wonder what sort of strange conversations went on to lead to harry reid calling him his pet. >> i'm no one's pet and i intend to be an independent voice in the united states senate. that was a very unfortunate choice of words by senator reid. >> senator harry reid was referring to coons as one of the potential democratic senators when he looked at the field of candidates that he particularly liked and referred to him as "my pet" not helpful for coons and christine o'donnell was able to jump on that and spread the controversy around a bit, typical for candidates. when she talked about trying to have more access to local media the back story on some of this is when you have a very tiny campaign that overnight becomes
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a national sensation both in terms of the kind of money flooding in, about $2 million so far and the attention, she actually has very, very little staff, just a few people that she's been dealing with and they have flooded. now, the national organizations, the rnc and the senate storial committee that tries to help elect republican senators are trying to send in staff to bolster that up, give them structure to deal with all of this but it has been a whirlwind for sure. >> kelly, thank you. it has been called a corruption case on steroids, eight bell, california, officials arrested for misusing millions in taxpayer dollars, they go before a judge. a massachusetts community is urging annoyed drivers to just stay calm. breathe. what's funny about that? you know, if you get a ticket, maybe you should try yoga. some issued in cambridge are coming with instructions on simple know ga positions. i think you might look funny
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doing dawned dog in the sidewalk. the purpose of the tickets is to debumping the idea that parking tickets are a hostile action. if you get a ticket maybe you don't buy that. st can't afford it. i have diabetes. i didn't miss a premium payment for 10 years. and i'm worried if i lose my job, i won't be able to afford insurance. when i graduated from college, i lost my health insurance. the minute i got sick, i lost my insurance. not anymore. not anymore. not anymore. america's healthcare reforms change lives for the better. to find out how it can help you, visit us at americasfairhealthcare.org it's not just fair, it's the law. but the financial landscape is still full of uncertainty.
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and walk-ins welcome every day, we're making it easier for everyone to get their flu shot. get yours at walgreens and take care clinics today. walgreens. there's a way to stay well. a new study finds a combination of excessive drinking, weight gain and smoking may contribute to cognitive problems after observing 54 men who had been heavy drinkers, this he found a high bmi was related to problems with thinking and memory. a deadly bombing in northwestern iran tops our world view, at least ten people were killed when a bomb exploded at a military parade near iran's border with turkey and iran. iranian officials are blaming
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kurdish separatists for the attack. the event was to mark the 30th anniversary of the iran/iraq war. france is on high alert for a possible terrorist attack to be carried out on its soil by al qaeda's north africa affiliate. a threat of an attack is very high, according to a french intelligence. france's government maintained its national threat level at red since 2005. hurricane igor still going strong, this time battering newfoundla newfoundland's coast in canada, packing high winds and heavy rain. corruption on steroids, that's how one los angeles district attorney is describing the case of eight city officials from bell, california. the not so great eight faceed arainment within the last hour accused of pocketing some $5.5 million taxpayer dollars. the bell manager, former city manager and the rest were rounded up from their homes and hauled into jail. george lewis joins us from our
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bureau in burbank. describe the case against the eight city leaders. >> contessa, they're accused of looting the city treasury to the tune of $5.5 million appropriating the money for their own use without taxpayers' permission. it revolves around the high salaries paid to former city manager, robert rizzo and seven others. rizzo apparently had a compensation package that totalled $1.5 million. the way they did this was about five years ago bell was made a charter city which gave the city council sweeping powers to approve high salaries for themselves without taxpayer approval, only about 400 people voted in that election. bell is a very low income blue collar city with a lot of immigrants, many of whom do not speak english, many of whom are not even eligible to vote so low voter participation in civic affairs, was one of the reasons that apparently this was all able to happen. now, of course, after the los
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angeles times broke the salary scandal in july, the law enforcement officials, the district attorney and the attorney general of california had been paying very close attention to what's going on in bell, and now the city officials have been accused of a variety of felonies and are going to be in court at this hour facing arraignment. contes contessa? >> thank you very much, george. several events later today on msnbc in a little more than an hour, treasury secretary tim geithner goes before a house committee to testify about the state of the international financial system. this afternoon, vice president joe biden hosts a medal of valorer have moany in washington, d.c. that is awarded to public safety officers for their bravery, putting their own safety aside to help others. at 4:45 eastern, president obama speaks at the u.n. summit on millennium development goals. program note for you, nbc news cooks off "education nation" this sunday, the week-long event starts when nbc's brian williams hosts a town hall with teachers at noon. on monday in an nbc news
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exclusive, president obama sits down with the "today" show's matt lauer for a live one on one interview that, discussion will focus on education, it will air uninterrupted for the entire half hour beginning at 8:00 a.m. you can submit your questions for the president at educationnation.com. ♪ [ male announcer ] ever have morning pain slow you down? introducing bayer am, an extra strength pain reliever with alertness aid to fight fatigue. so get up and get goin'! with new bayer am. the morning pain reliever.
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home prices are still trying to find the bottom. today we learned they fell again in july for the eighth month in a row. the decline of .5% was a little more than economy is had expected, led by surging foreclosures. president obama is fighting back hard after republicans blocked a vote yesterday that could have helped children of undocumented immigrants gain a path to citizenship. the dream act would give permanent residency to anyone brought to the united states illegally as a child, as long as they finished some college or joined the u.s. military. republicans called it a "secret" amnesty plan.
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>> i can't get comprehensive imdprai immigration reform done if i have no republican cooperation. it's not for lack of trying or interest or effort on my part. i've got 56 democrats who are prepared to vote yes on a provision today that would have had a substantial impact, and i've got no republican votes. >> that's president obama's one on one interview with jose diaz bellard with our sister network telemundo, just hours after a vote on the dream act. are you surprised, do you think, that the president isn't getting more support for -- i mean just for humanitarian reasons, for reasons of the heart, it's not fair to those little kids. >> well, contessa, the fact of the matter is that the president yesterday also acknowledged the fact that pretty much political discourse in washington, d.c., is poisonous. he said it is tough to get anything done until both sides at least agree to sit down and talk about their common positions.
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>> until we get the kind of constructive political conversation that's not trying to score points, but instead is actually trying to solve a problem. >> doesn't look like it's getting that way to you, does it? >> the only thing i will say is that, you know, the history of our country has always been things go in fits and starts. >> you know, contessa, many people here, even some democrats on capitol hill off the record are saying maybe putting the dream act as part of the defense appropriations bill was probably not the best idea, if they want it passed but it's pretty good for political points for the hispanic community. >> we're looking at the ways that we can resolve the issue of immigration problems, taken seems like lawmakers from both sides agree, there is a problem. when you have an estimated 12 million people living in the country illegally, there is a problem. what will happen for lawmakers who absolutely take a stand and vote for no path to citizenship
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at all for anyone who is here illegally? >> the key issue here is the po border. until that is dealt with a lot of people on the right are not willing to discuss any issue of giving people here without their papers some path to citizenship. first you control the border before anything is even talked about and that is a pretty popular position right now politically speaking. >> we saw a big commitment from the president, a lot of money, a lot of manpower sent to the border, and we're seeing illegal immigrant crossings way down this year, we'll wait and see whether that gets sway with the president's detractors. >> contessa, always a pleasure. >> that wraps up this hour for me. i appreciate the time you've spent with me. see you back here tomorrow noon eastern, 9:00 a.m. out west. president obama and iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad speak before the u.n. general assembly. "andrea mitchell reports" next,
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among her guests, janet napolitano and senator joe lieberman. we'll be right back. it's just outside of lancaster. sure, i can download directions for you now. we got it. thank you very much! check it out. i can like, see everything that's going on with the car. here's the gas level. i can check on the oil. i can unlock it from anywhere. i've received a signal there was a crash. some guy just cut me off. i'll get an ambulance to you right away. safely connecting you in ways you never thought possible. onstar. live on. words alone aren't enough. our job is to listen and find ways to help workers who lost their jobs to the spill. i'm iris cross. we'll keep restoring the jobs, tourist beaches, and businesses impacted by the spill. we've paid over $400 million in claims and set up a $20 billion independently-run claims fund. i was born in new orleans. my family still lives here.
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[ bat cracks ] that's a hit. one a day men's. right now on "andrea mitchell reports" bob woodward pulls back the covers on a dysfunctional national security team. the white house calls this new book a net plus. we'll have all of the details and hot book right here. terror on our doorsteps, a key senate committee today says the threat is worse than you think. u.s. homeland security secretary janet innapolitano joins us and committee chairman joe lieberman. and bait and switch, the new health care reforms kick in officially tomorrow. don't look now, the insurance companies are doing it to you again. this hour, maryland congressman elijah cummings. i'm andrea mitchell live in new york. we have bob woodward's new book